A few days after I first moved to Libya it became pretty clear that I was going to face a few problems whilst living in north Africa. At the time, and perhaps a little naively in hindsight, I thought the bulk of those little set backs would concern a lack of booze or perhaps my less than adequate training as an English teacher.
How wrong I turned out to be.
However, three days after I arrived in Tripoli and was introduced to my new colleagues and housemates, there were three main reasons I thought my stay in the country would eventually lead to my slow demise:
1) It was already topping 40 degrees and we were not even close to the ‘hot months’ of July and August. Any time I was further than four metres from an industrial air conditioner, I would spend my time bouncing around like a befuddled toddler who had recently lost their mum. That or gently sizzling. Occasionally both.
2) After my new school posted a particularly smug photo of me on their Facebook page introducing their latest teacher, one of the foremost comments stated:”Welcome to your grave”.
My school quickly proceeded to ‘Like’ it.
As did half a dozen other kind souls.
3) I couldn’t read Arabic. As such, on the second morning I managed to rinse my mouth out with anti-septic disinfectant. After a few swishes back and fore thinking ‘gosh, there’s a bit of a kick to this’ and wondering what other avenues Dettol might have branched out into, it dawned on me that something might be up.
It took the best part of ten days for any sense of taste to reappear.
No hint of gum disease to this day though.